Digestive Problems

CANDIDA

Candida Albicans is a naturally occurring yeast which lives in our gut aiding our digestion. When an overgrowth of candida occurs (for example, through the use of antibiotics, an unhealthy diet, stress and the contraceptive pill) an array of unwanted symptoms can occur. The toxins produced from an overgrowth of candida “and the damage done to the gut lining can cause a devastating list of apparently unrelated symptoms that commonly include fatigue, abdominal bloating and pain, food sensitivities and cravings, but also range from athlete’s foot to depression, IBS to recurrent thrush and cystitis to a damaged immune system” (The Practical Guide to Candida, J McWhirter).

During your Colon Hydrotherapy treatment, the therapist will discuss your diet and will suggest different ways of improving it which may restore equilibrium. This may include decreasing the amount of processed foods, foods containing sugar, alcohol, mushrooms and fermented foods and vinegars you are ingesting. Whilst you are having your treatment, anti-fungal preparations will be used in the water to restore equilibrium in the system.

Information will be given about foods and ways of restoring balance and promoting the physical and emotional harmony within the body.

CONSTIPATION

Constipation is defined as a condition in which bowel evacuations occur infrequently, or in which the faeces are hard and small, or where passage of faeces causes difficulty or pain (Oxford Dictionary of Nursing, 1998). It can be a feeling that, having been to the toilet, a person may feel they haven’t emptied their bowels completely, have only passed a small amount and feel they could go again a short while later. In a person with healthy bowel function, bowels should move at least once a day or after every meal.

Consequences

Faecal matter which doesn’t move through the bowel quickly enough can lead to a build up of toxic material in the colon. Peristalsis (the action of the bowel which pushes material along the digestive tract) can be suppressed due to long-term constipation. Haemorrhoids (piles) can result from chronic constipation. Continued straining to pass a stool can result in the blood vessels surrounding the anus becoming swollen. At its worst, constipation over long periods can result in physical blockages or distension of the bowel which can lead to diverticulosis.

Causes

When constipated, water is reabsorbed from stools leading to even harder stools which become more difficult to pass. The main reasons for constipation are:

  • Insufficient water intake
  • Not going to the toilet when we initially feel the need
  • Eating too many concentrated foods e.g. bread, pasta
  • Diet too low in fibre
  • Lack of exercise can lead to poor muscle tone of the bowel
  • Obesity
  • Stress
  • Habitual use of laxatives
  • If peristalsis is weak, constipation can result

Research has shown the major factor in chronic constipation is diet and although dietary changes can help with constipation, it is not always enough to cleanse the colon.

The UK is the most constipated nation in the world. The healthy transit time for food to pass through our bodies should be 24 hours, but on average in the UK, it is 60 hours for men and 70 hours for women.

IBS

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common condition in which recurrent abdominal pain along with constipation, diarrhoea and bloating can continue for years without any general deterioration in physical health (Oxford Dictionary of Nursing, 1998). Often there can be discomfort and a change in bowel habits with no obvious cause.

IBS is more prevalent in females and 20% of the population in the UK suffer from it at some point during their lives, with 5% being chronic sufferers.

IBS affects “gut motility”, the rate at which the contents of the bowel are pushed along to the rectum. Sufferers can be from all age groups. Symptoms of IBS can vary a great deal from person to person, but may include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Bloating
  • Excessive wind
  • Mucus in stools
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Painful periods

IBS is often characterised by alternating bouts of constipation and diarrhoea along with abdominal pain. It can get worse during periods of stress and through eating the wrong diet. It is a condition which can come and go. No specific cause for IBS has yet been discovered but possible causes include food allergies or intolerances, gut inflammation, stress, infection, over-excitation of the gut muscles and toxic overload.

In certain instances, Colon Hydrotherapy can be effective in helping to restore balance both physically and emotionally.

DIARRHOEA

Diarrhoea is defined as “frequent bowel evacuation or the passage of abnormally soft or loose faeces” (Oxford Dictionary of Nursing, 1998). There are many causes of diarrhoea including short-term causes such as food poisoning and nervous diarrhoea, to more long-term episodes involving lactose intolerance, food allergies or sensitivities, parasitic infections, intestinal inflammation or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Diarrhoea is generally a symptom of an underlying disorder or problem.

The greatest danger of diarrhoea is the excess loss of fluids, salts and nutrients which, in turn, leads to other medical problems. Colon Hydrotherapy may improve the symptoms of diarrhoea by not only “flushing out” the irritant in the gut, but by also eliminating the possible cause of the problem (for example foods containing dairy, coffee and so on). We can use herbs during the treatment to help reduce any inflammation and provide you with supplements to take home to heal the gut further. Sometimes, diarrhoea may be caused by a lack of fibre in your diet. Whatever the cause, your diet will be looked at and remedied as required.

If your diarrhoea is due to food poisoning or a parasitic infection, we can use anti-parasitic remedies during the treatment to kill the parasites. You will then be sent home with anti-parasitic supplements and dietary advice to ensure all the parasites and eggs are destroyed. Supplements will also be given to help repair and heal your gut and to repopulate it with probiotics for healthy digestion.